Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tech Link (Platform): Intel Core 2 Duo in Notebooks: Centrino Duo Platform Refreshed

I almost forgot to do a posting today, it's holiday so I got myself the needed rest. In any case, I browsed the web today and can't find any interesting info. My InBox is also not having anything from my contacts and friends, so, I dropped XBitLabs a visit. I saw that they have a Merom on the test bench so it should be interesting. Expand to read their thoughts...


The today’s results can hardly help us make any final conclusions. The thing is that we are still under great impression from the success of new CPUs on Core microarchitecture in the desktop market. Unfortunately, the situation with the mobile Core 2 Duo processors is not as rosy. While the desktop Core 2 Duo processors became significantly faster and set new performance records, the mobile Core 2 Duo couldn’t provide the same significant performance improvement compared with their predecessors – Core Duo CPUs.

According to our tests, Core 2 Duo are faster than Core Duo in all applications, however the average performance improvement (provided the clock speed is equal) is less than 10%. And this is a purely evolutional change. In other words, despite all significant micro-architectural improvements that were introduced when shifting from Core Duo to Core 2 Duo, the practical performance increase in the mobile platforms didn’t prove up to our expectations. Of course, video application are working much faster now, sometimes even 20% faster, but video editing is not a really typical task for mobile platforms. So, the significance of the mobile Core 2 Duo launch is not in the higher performance, but in the Intel 64-bit modes support that has been introduced in the notebook platforms with the arrival of the new generation of mobile processors.

In addition, I would also like to say that higher performance of the Core 2 Duo processors is not free and results in higher power consumption. As a result, mobile platforms equipped with Core 2 Duo processors run slightly less on battery than the systems featuring Core Duo inside. However, I have to be fair here: the performance improvement is still higher than the power consumption loss.

In conclusion, I would like to point out again that the arrival of mobile Core 2 Duo processors will not cause any revolutionary changes in the notebook market. Especially, since Intel is not updating the entire platform just yet, but offers to use new CPUs in the old Napa platform. So, if you already have a Napa based notebook with the dual-core Core Duo CPU, there is hardly any real need to upgrade.

A for the real revolution in the mobile market, we should wait for the next spring, when the expanded Core 2 Duo processor family with higher frequency models in it will acquire a new chipset with better integrated graphics and Robson technology, as well as a new wireless network component with higher data transfer rate.

Source:Intel Core 2 Duo in Notebooks: Centrino Duo Platform Refreshed

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